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Friday, March 1, 2013

Why be a Poor Noob?

This post is for all those high-sec noobs out there struggling to make ISK. I was once a noob like you. I was once poor, like you. By the standards of some, I am still poor. A few bISK is nothing compared to what Greedy Goblin has ammassed or, I imaging, Blake over on But this post is not to talk about how much ISK I have..

The reason for this post is to tell you point blank how not to be a poor noob. It will take a little commitment on your part and some time. However, this method is easier ISK than ratting, does not require elite PvP skills, and is less boring than mining because it only takes about 30 minutes out of your playing day. Then you can do whatever you like, and you'll have ISK to do it with.

What I 'm talking about is PI. It takes less than two months to train PI to a level sufficient to earn you 100 mISK a week. You can have less than 15 million SP and make this kind of cash. It only takes four of the five PI skills.  Remote sensing is totally unnecessary. And not all of them actually need to be at level V (though it increases ISK if they are.)  With this plan, you can have nearly a half-billion ISK a month flowing into your wallet. Are you interested?

Here is the training plan. These times are based on having Intelligence at 23 and Memory at 22 with no implants. If you can remap and/or buy implants it will go more quickly.
  • Train Planetology to Level IV - 2 days, 18 hours, 33 minutes and 2 seconds
  • Train Command Center Upgrades to Level V - 24 days, 22 hours, 49 minutes and 4 seconds
  • Train Interplanetary Consolidation to Level V - 24 days, 22 hours, 49 minutes and 47 seconds
  • Train Advanced Planetology to Level III - 19 hours, 36 minutes and 26 seconds
Total training time is 53 days, 11 hours, 48 minutes and 19 seconds. If you can install Limited (+2)  implants for Intelligence and Memory, you will reduce this time by a full day. I know 53 days seems like a long time when you are a noob, but it really isn't. Of course, those are 53 days you won't be training combat or other skills. If you like, you can start running PI with lower skills, but you will not make nearly as much ISK. However, ramping up over a six month period is not impossible.

Once you have your skills finished, you will need to find a system with six planets you can use. The more out of the way the system, the less competition you will have for resources. Remember, the planet as a whole generates a pool of resources. The more people who dip resources out of that pool, the fewer resources are left for everyone else. Over time, the resource production capacity of the planet diminishes and you will pull fewer and fewer resources.

That said, a high-sec planet, almost any high-sec planet, can comfortably maintain a 288,000 m3 per 23 hour period extraction rate while conducting level 3 production. One of my favorite products is Robotics. You can do it with three magmatic (lava) planets and three barren planets. It is always in demand. It is a major component of POS fuel blocks. I am also fond of Nanite Repair Paste (NRP) but that requires a 50 mISK BPO and some manufacturing skills. I'd recommend Robotics before NRP for a new bro.

Now, I won't lie to you and tell you it is easy to setup a six planet PI manufacturing system. It takes some time, research and perseverance. You'll need ISK in your wallet to purchase command centers, upgrade them and then buy extractors and facilities to start making stuff. I've done a few blog posts about it over the years. Here is a link that will isolate just my PI posts. That will at least get you started in your research.

As for start-up ISK, you will need to purchase the following for a six planet Robotics setup as I described above.

Item Qty Cost Total
Lava Command Center 3  ISK         85,000.00  ISK         255,000.00
Barren Command Center 3  ISK         85,000.00  ISK         255,000.00
Advanced CC Upgrades 6  ISK   2,100,000.00  ISK   12,600,000.00
Basic Facility Chiral Structures 9  ISK         75,000.00  ISK         675,000.00
Basic Facility Toxic Metals 9  ISK         75,000.00  ISK         675,000.00
Basic Facility Precious Metals 9  ISK         75,000.00  ISK         675,000.00
Basic Facility Reactive Metals 9  ISK         75,000.00  ISK         675,000.00
Advanced Facility Consumer Electronics 9  ISK       250,000.00  ISK      2,250,000.00
Advanced Facility Mecahnical Parts 9  ISK       250,000.00  ISK      2,250,000.00
Advanced Facility Robotics 3  ISK       250,000.00  ISK         750,000.00
Space Port 6  ISK       900,000.00  ISK      5,400,000.00
 Grand Total:   ISK   26,460,000.00

You will also have to pay import/export taxes. Until you make your first sale, you will have to front the cost of these taxes. I've taken the current tax rates straight out of the EVE wiki on PI.
Taxation is dependent on the customs station that the PI goods are being moved through. This was one of the three PI updates from Crucible. If you're in High-Sec, the tax rate is 10%. If you're elsewhere, and the InterBus Customs office hasn't been replaced, the tax rate is 17%. Otherwise, the rate is set by the owner of the Customs Office. The rates go from a base price for each tier of PI goods.
  • Tax % is taken off the material's taxable value.
    • This value is set by CCP and is based off the market values in November 2011
    • Import is always half of export tax
  • The taxable value are the same for all items in the same tier
    • Advanced Commodities: 1,350,000.00 ISK
    • Specialized Commodities: 70,000.00 ISK
    • Refined Commodities: 9,000.00 ISK
    • Basic commodities: 500.00 ISK
    • Planet Resources: 5.00 ISK
The tax price is based on the tax rate of the Customs Office for the taxable value of the materials. I.e. Refined Commodities having a taxable value of 9,000.00 ISK and a Customs Office tax rate of 10% you will pay 900.00 ISK per units. For a tax rate of 17% you will pay 1,530.00 ISK per units.
So in High-sec, basic commodities such as Oxygen will cost 50 isk to export a unit, or 25 isk to import. As these numbers are significantly higher than they used to be, you may need to revisit any older processing plan to make sure it is still profitable. Eliminating a import export stage may be required to remain profitable.

There are too many variables with this so I can't give you a hard figure. However, I would plan on needing at least 5 mISK per day you have to import and export without positive cash flow. I had a friend provide a historical reference for your perusal - his high-sec tax transaction logs for the past week doing an NRP production line. The NRP line also has two tier 3 advanced commodities and one additional tier 2 commodity so the taxes are slightly higher than they would be for the Robotics line.

Date Type  Amount 
2/28/13 0:00 Total  ISK     (4,283,005.50)
2/27/13 0:00 Total  ISK     (4,301,203.00)
2/26/13 0:00 Total  ISK     (4,189,629.50)
2/25/13 0:00 Total  ISK     (4,290,966.50)
2/24/13 0:00 Total  ISK     (4,258,635.50)
2/23/13 0:00 Total  ISK     (4,291,360.00)
2/22/13 0:00 Total  ISK     (4,004,699.00)
Grand Total  ISK   (29,619,499.00)

PI isn't as easy as mining. Mining only needs minimal training, a ship and time to bring in a little ISK. But I'm telling you, it's a long hard grind - no pun intended. With the time you save from making mostly passive ISK from PI, you can do other things. Things that are more fun for you than mining, or mission grinding, or all those other things capsuleers dread. So I ask you, why be a poor noob doing those dreaded things when you can be a rich noob doing what you really like to do?

Fly Careful


  1. People really shouldn't wait for the skills to start. With Command Center Upgrades and Interplanetary Consolidation on 4 they can make about 60% of what they could with 5 and learn how to manage a colony.

    1. True but that might also increase their start-up costs as they "play around" with configurations. I'd prefer they spend the extra training time researching. Every hour of research on how to manage will reduce mistakes and lower the start-up costs IMO.

    2. When you suggest training times of 24 days, that's going to completely turn off any newb with any moxy whatsoever. (Much less spending 24 days each on multiple skills!) That newb has a lot of other things he wants to train for. Combat skills. Trade skills. Mining skills. I remember being a newb. I did not train a single level V skill for months. 4 days for a skill?? No way!

      Level 4 is enough, for all of the PI skills, to make good money. Much better money than you make mining. And training level 4 only takes a few days. Less than a week for all four skills combined.

      I think your estimate of income from PI is a bit high. If you are running 6 planets and getting 250000 R0/planet/day, then your total R0 production is 1.5m/day. After BIF conversion, that is 10000 P1/day. Then P2 at AIF: 625. Finally to P3 at AIF: 93.75 (for most P3s), or 62.5 (a few P3 goods require 3 P2 inputs). Robotics is a solid P3, selling for about 80k ISK. So assuming you make that, the income here is 7.5m per day. This is 52.5m ISK/week -- not shabby, but not quite the 100m you suggest. Still, a whole lot better than mining.

      On the upside, 30m per day is probably a high estimate, once you get enough goods in your pipeline. Then you don't have to move stuff more than once per week, or less. The only time required is restarting each extractor once per day, and that can be done in a minute per planet.

    3. Well, I guess moxy and poverty go hand in hand. As for the estimates, they are not estimates, they are confirmed rates. I've made this much and I've coached several otehr players who have also turned this level of profit. Now, if your moxy tells you do do something else, then by all means do so. This is probably for those noobs who have a longer range perspective on the game.

  2. Good info to get someone started Mabrick, but where's your economic breakdown to support the 500mil a month number? Would like to see this expanded with some market data, cost analysis at different points in the production cycle and such. That was what I did when getting into PI in highsec way back when, and what eventually led me to support my invention and T2 manufacturing with the PI bits I could build far more cheaply than I could buy.

    1. Three words for you bro - wall of text - LOL. Stay tuned, this isn't the last post I'll ever write.

  3. Mabrick; given the lack of information out there for the various layouts, newbies will rip down their initial colonies anyway. CCU 4 or 5 won't change that.

    I run a raft of alts with command center upgrades 4, interplanetary consolidation 4. It is faster to get all 3 pilots on an account up to this than it is to get one pilot to lvl 5 skills.

    Other skills that are needed; pilot an industrial ship (quick enough).

    I do question the value for advanced planetology; either than or I am using my planets differently. I understand that planetology (and advanced) gives you better estimates rather than improves yield. Though it could also provide better accuracy in the colour bands (unsure).

    However I find that I already over extract areas fast on the toons without it fast enough, even on wormhole planets. I don't need the better estimates, as I get accurate results after I 'submit' my extraction.

    1. What about players who don't have a raft of alts? Sure, you can still make ISK at lower skills. However, it will take the same amount of time to manage your PI and you are making less ISK for it. If that's okay with you, then fin, but you can do better.

  4. Oh dear, I totally disagree. First of all, you forget that you need hauler skills to move stuff around and at least some minimum of tanking and some situational awareness that comes from PvP or PvE. On top of this some market skills. And you are asking a new player to pony up nearly 30mil ISK after flying without combat skills for 50 days?

    Lastly, if you really, really want to turn a new player away from EVE and send him back to WoW crying, please consider what you are asking. 50+ days of not "leveling" anything in order to be able to play the worst, dumbest Farmville game ever designed? We "older" players tolerate this piece of code that CCP's interns dropped on us because we make ISK with it but please don't recommend this to a new player.

    Mab, I really like your blog but man, this one was way off.

    1. Hauler skills takes a few hours to run any of the basic ones. In high-sec, you're as sage as you can be so why worry about it? Take insurance out on the ship. There are lots of games being played on miners but no ganker wants to sit at an orbital structure and wait for the occasional PI hauler to arrive.

      And as for sending anyone back to WoW, you're analogy is flawed. Those noobs won't do this regardless. They are not part of the equation. Look Splatus, I know this isn't for everyone. It may not even be for the majority. The point is, there are alternatives for mostly risk free ISK other than mining. How many players sit in belts and spend hours mining wishing they had ISK to do something else? They are the ones this post might appeal to. GOing on summer break and can't really play, only update training? This is the plan for you! The ones who find this way off will do what they were going to do all along regardless of how much ISK I say they can make. In fact, I doubt they even read this blog. It's not their thing. For the others, I want them to know there is an option. You can't just dismiss it just because it's not for you. I'd have jumped at this when I was a noob no questions asked.

    2. Well, I agree, that _some_ ISK needs to flow for new players but I disagree that it has to come from mindless and ill-designed passive activities like PI that do not add to the player skill.

      Instead of advising new players to go for 50 days in order to gain skills to play a solo version of Farmville, I think you (we all, actually) should write guides how to find and a good player corp that takes newbs and runs missions, does the odd (sponsored) low sec "invasion" (and returns by involuntary clone jump) and basically makes ISK by playing the game as a team. Mining opps can be fun (really), ninja mining with the Venture into WH space or lowsec can be highly profitable. Sure, you need a team to do this but that is the beauty of EVE - to keep it a social game. These corps exist (we have a C2 WH corp in the alliance geared for newish players who want to try WHs out)

      PI is and stays a terrible mechanic and is sure to drive players away from the game. In addition, PI is not a mechanic that adds social value, helps with piloting skills and is very time consuming if you want to maximize the output - which you have to do if you want make decent ISK anywhere in Empire.

      Lastly, thank you for thinking about new players (Mabrick 4 CSM!), many older vets simply forget that they exist at all and if they encounter a new toon, they expect it to be an alt. I think I need to pick up the ball and write my own version of a new player guide?

    3. "...many older vets simply forget that they exist at all and if they encounter a new toon, they expect it to be an alt."

      I thought all new toons were alts. Are you saying that people new to EVE are actually subscribing to this game?

  5. Thanks for the good information. If summer ever comes I will being spending less time before the screen. A good training plan for 1st. Alt with some "V"s in there for the summer break. With remaps 37 days. Probably not worth it because I will then just miss more days while I am away hammering tent pegs. Good point about the reduced risk from ganking, although I have heard that it is wise not to be too regular with pickup routines. Time will tell. Don't worry about the people who criticize your post as being inappropriate for newbies. Your not ramming this down anyone's throat and Eve has a very flexible definition of newb anyway.

  6. Promoting PI in High-sec with all the planets that have fairly shit amounts of resources won't really make a dent in the incomes of WH and Null PI, so I guess you're really trying to inform people rather than be a sneaky bastard trying to bring down the big boys. It was a good read though.

    I would suggest noobs make a second account dedicated to PI and other skills needed to survive in WH's or Null, because you are only able to set-up 6 planets and maximizing your income requires more than just the basics in these places.

  7. Why use Lava and Barren planets instead of Plasma planets? Robotics can be produced entirely on one planet; you don't have to haul between Lava and Barren planets.

    1. In all of New Eden, there are nearly 40,000 lava and barren planets (split equally.) In the same amount of space there is only 1489 plasma planets. That is why, it is far easier to find lava and gas planets.

      See this web site for exact numbers:

  8. Is Nanite repair paste still a good product to work towards?

    Also what is the scalabilty of this profit in Null?

    1. Hopefully you check for this reply. The price for Nanite Repair Paste has dropped considerably since this post. The market has become flooded with the stuff so supply is very high. The sell prices in Jita are in the low 15k range. I checked with Kao Jai and he says he is making about 200 million ISK a month on it now. It's still profit, but it is half the ISK he was making in March. He says he's actually considered doing something else but it only takes him about 20 minutes a day to maintain his PI so the hours to ISK ratio is still reasonable. Personally, I'd say there are better ways to make ISK now as a noob, like exploration. CCP did a good job with that in Odyssey. However, if your play time is limited one the NRP lines are setup it's easy enough to maintain a steady profit.


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